Laura Sharman 15 March 2021

Councils welcome boost to COVID Winter Grant Scheme

Councils welcome boost to COVID Winter Grant Scheme image

Council leaders have welcomed the £59m funding boost to the COVID Winter Grant Scheme to help support vulnerable families over the Easter period.

The Government has announced the scheme will now run until 16 April to enable councils to provide low-income families with grants to buy food and pay for essential bills.

The Local Government Association (LGA) welcomed the extension but warned a long-term solution to tackle poverty is needed.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: ‘We have been pleased to work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions on implementation of the funding, and councils have demonstrated a wide range of effective local delivery.

’However, both councils and partners have highlighted the need to ensure that we are able to address the underlying drivers of disadvantage and ensure that we break cycles of poverty and crisis in the longer term.

’An effective long-term solution to preventing poverty and disadvantage is needed, which is why the LGA is discussing with government and partners how best to enable councils to provide integrated, preventative support to low-income households, including the potential benefits of providing sustainable local welfare funding of at least £250m per year.’

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